Thanks for visiting ladies!
Without fail, anytime our flower bar is stocked with these beauties, people come running. I present to you, the King Protea.
The King Protea has the largest bloom in the massive protea family. Native to South Africa, they grow as a shrub and bloom most prolifically in the winter. The large "flower" is actually a collection of tiny true flower heads surrounded by colorful bracts that can be white, yellow, red, or the most sought after, pink.
Proteas love extreme weather conditions: dry summers and cold wet winters, so your efforts at growing them in Honolulu will be poorly rewarded. But lucky for us, the temperate climate on the high slopes of the Big Island and Maui provide perfect conditions for these artichoke-like bad boys. We work with a handful of small farms to stay stocked.
Cut the stems at an angle when you get home to get them drinking. Keep your kings fresh with water changes every few days and a floral preservative. Make your own preservative with a tablespoon of hydrogen peroxide, a teaspoon of lemon, and a teaspoon of sugar.
And did mention they dry beautifully? When your arrangement looks tired, hang the kings upside-down to dry (this helps preserve their shape), then enjoy them for years.
Photos by Kenna Reed unless noted
Written by Kenna Reed
The construction wall is down, our halls are decked, and we're ramping up for Christmas like a boss. Here are a few ideas for making your home festive and your friends happy.
Fresh wreaths made by the lovely Paiko ladies. Don't forget you can also sign up for a workshop and make your own!
Kokedama moss balls in all species and sizes! And another holiday workshop option.
Nunu ornaments. These intricate little sea critters are made with locally sourced natural materials by an A-nunu-mous local artist.
Dried wreaths made by our friends over at Lyons Arboretum in Manoa. These beauties are made with locally sourced materials and can be used for years to come.
Your favorite llamas made by local artist, Dee Oliva. Now with a holiday twist! Llamas gotta stay warm during the chilly Hawaiian winter.
Pareos from Kealopiko's latest collection.
Potted local orchids (this one's about to bloom!) in some of our classic terra cotta wash pot planters.
See ya in the shop soon!
Photos by Kenna Reed
Written by Kenna Reed
There's a new addition to our Paiko squad, but its a familiar face. Alex Hubbard, owner of smoothie and sandwich bar, The Cut, in Lana Lane Studios, has recently joined forces with Paiko to create beautiful Launiu Pāpale (coconut frond hats). We chatted with Alex about food, the story behind his hats, and his vision for the future.
Tell us about yourself and what led you to opening The Cut.
Food is a great way to get to know a person so why don't we start off with that. In regards to my diet, people often ask me, “what are you?” I'm not a Vegan or a Vegetarian and I'm definitely not an ambassador of health. I'm not above anyone's personal tastes nor am I below any perpetuated habitual myths. I'm interested in the story of our Food and I find myself searching for my community of like minds, cultivating my heart and others I meet on my journey.
I'm no chef. However, I do like to eat! I'm not a farmer (at least not to the capacity that I can sustain myself year round). Ain't that a pickle? A guy that doesn't grow his own food, but likes to eat everyday. Yet somehow I still manage to eat everyday- can you believe that?
I think majority of the population is in the same predicament. I read on HI-CAN.org something to the tune of 88% of our food we eat in Hawaii is imported. We are disconnected from the very substance which gives us life. We depend on others to feed us.
Food is either giving us life or taking it away. The less involved in the process of my food I am, the more I'm being force fed (not just food but policy as well). I ask myself three questions- what am I eating? Where/how was it grown? How was it prepared? These simple questions govern more than we may think. In them, lies the answer to World Peace. Majority of the external conflict we experience in the World is a direct reflection of the internal conflict we are experiencing within, but that's another essay.
The most rewarding experience in life, for me, is growing my own food, eating it and sharing it! It makes me feel alive like when I'm walking down the street and I share a smile with a pretty girl. Growing and eating our own food stays with us. It resonates in us. It elevates us. It changes us. We can only change ourselves, but the right food changes a person from the inside out.
In our busy lives, we often feel we don't have time to prepare our own food, let alone grow it. There lies the problem. The experience, the relationship, our senses, the land, the touch and smell and taste. It's these little connections that are necessary in bridging the gap between ourselves and food. Do we only eat to satisfy our hunger? Or is there a more sacred, communal, grounding pleasure that we are failing to experience?
Is there a more profound ritual that directly affects our physical, mental, emotional and spiritual well being? Yet it's something we do multiple times a day with little to no thought.
When I'm off my game, I use food to heal myself. I prefer raw fruits and vegetables, medicinal roots that take little prep time. Minimal ingredients too – mono meals.
So I opened a smoothie shop so I could be around nourishing food all the time and live a more meaningful purposeful life! It was a no brainer. Come to find out, I'm getting an education in Hawaii’s Food System. Believe me when I say, there's more to food than what meets the eye.
What is The Cut all about?
All I hear is "eat local, eat local, eat local" but where can I find a local meal in Kakaako? A simple, satisfying meal that I can enjoy quickly and without guilt. I saw a local pineapple for sale yesterday for $25! I'm down to support local, but sometimes I don't feel local is down to support me.
The Cut is about access, opportunity, education, community and connection.
Making locally grown meals accessible to the general public.
Providing Opportunities for the Community to make educated decisions.
Educating the Community to know what their decisions are supporting.
Cultivating a Community unified in Consciousness.
Connecting the Community back to the Source.
My vision is a self-sustained community that is connected to the land. Big dreams huh? It's a work in progress. I don't have all the answers. Ultimately, the status of the community is determined by their level of participation, commitment and current needs.
Sourcing locally, being fresh and making things from scratch are obviously top priority. How does this philosophy apply to the hats you're now making for Paiko? Where do you source your materials and where did you learn how to make them?
That's a good question. Another good question is why is this Haole boy wearing Launiu Pāpale? I'm not Kanaka Maoli (native Hawaiian). I'm a fourth generation descendant of Korean and Malaysian immigrants who came here as indentured servants to work the plantation fields. Both of my Grandmas married service men during WW2. I'm a by-product of Industry and War.
Born in Waikiki, raised in Kaimuki; I grew up under a mango tree my Great Grandfather, Ok-Soo Song, planted with the help of my dad when he was a kid. This tree is close to 60yrs old now and I still live under it. I'm old enough to take care of it now. I harvest the mango in the summer. I trim it once a year. I like to rake the leaves on Sunday's. It's how I fellowship with the creator. It's Church. Working the land and maintaining the trees is Worship. Eating, as we discussed earlier, is Ritual. Kids should grow up with trees. Especially trees that were planted by their ancestors. Trees truly are living legacies.
My grandfather's still taking care of me till this day. Providing shade, nourishment, and teaching me lessons. You can learn a lot just by sitting up in a tree.I was being fed mango before I was raking leaves. As kids, we would pick mango with the big bamboo picker. As we got older, we'd just climb with denim bags sewn by Great Grandma and stay up there for an hour filling up bag after bag. This is the story of a 30 year old relationship between a boy and a tree who helped raise him into a man.
The trees planted in our yards have a history. They have an identity. We see them as contributing members of our Family. They are our Family.
My story with Niu is no different. I was fed it first. I drank coconut. I took shelter in their shade, working under one for three years. I learned to weave on the Beach in Waikiki from Coffee Ken, one of the uncles that helped Captain Mondo with his catamaran out front the outrigger reef hotel. Being so thirsty for fresh coconut water, I learned to climb. I used to renegade Kawamotos properties until he cut down all the prized ones we'd pick from. Now I have several trees I regularly trim and pick from. No more renegading. Two Niu trees per person is more than enough to have fresh coconut everyday of the year.
You see how these relationships began though? The land takes care of us then in turn we learn to take care of the land. Ulana Launiu –coconut leaf weaving- is truly a gift from the land to the stewards who take care of it.
Coffee Ken taught me one main thing about weaving that I keep with me always. He taught me to weave because I want to weave. He'd say “ don't make a rose cause you wanna give it to some broad. Your rose is gonna come out all messed up. You gotta weave with no intentions. When you weave, you weave just to weave, that's it. Now if somebody wants to buy what you made hey- nothing wrong with that. But don't weave because you want to sell your stuff and make money or use it to pick up chicks.”
I don't weave too often, but when I do, I keep this lesson with me. I pick leaf when I pick coconut. Lately, I've been using the leaf from my friends house in Kapahulu, Todd Pinder. I like to use this leaf because his tree is protected from the wind. That coconut he's got is my favorite too! Although I've never met a coconut I didn't like.
One last story about my favorite Pāpale.
My favorite Pāpale comes from Honolua Bay, Maui. A magical place with surreal beauty and ancient Mana. A tree had been cut down. A tall tree, old enough it had probably seen the Royalty. The crown lay on the ground with the center leaf intact next to its massive stump. I asked the Kahu, Jimmy Billianor, if I could have the leaf. He said sure so I borrowed his knife and cut the leaf. I wove a basket that night and gave it to him he next morning before hopping on a plane and taking the rest of it home with me back to Oahu.
Normally you never take the center leaf. That's the life of the tree. If you take that leaf you kill the tree. Now think about that for a second.
A hundred year old coconut tree, from Honolua Bay, that stood right off the trail to the ocean; overlooking all who passed it for years. The center life of its crown woven into a crown to crown my head. What a privilege it is to be able to honor its life. It's as if I was destined to receive its blessing that day.
Every time I weave, I learn. The leaf wants to teach you all it has but we can only take as much as we're ready for. As my relationship with Launiu grows, I notice I am more willing to receive its lessons than when I first was introduced to this Kupuna.
Each Pāpale in Paiko taught me a lesson. When you pick up those hats and try them on you'll want to know more. It's the start of a lifelong relationship. If you allow it, the leaf is willing to teach you something too.
Ulana Launiu / coconut leaf weaving
Pāpale / Hat
The Cut recently took a little break and rumor is that it's back better and stronger! What can everyone look forward to?
Organization. Participation. Collaboration.
I asked my uncle this question the other day and I'll ask you too- Do you think ancient Hawaiians had poi stands? Somebody dedicated to sitting in a stand all day selling poi to people whenever they were hungry.
I really don't know the answer to that but I'd like to imagine that their eating practices were more communal and every person involved partook in the process at some level.
I stayed in a small town in Parana, Brazil called Marechal Candido-Rondon. Stayed there two months and lived with a Brazilian family that spoke very little English. Everyday from 11:30 to 1:30 we ate lunch together. The kids would come home from school to help their mothers, the father would come home from work and we'd all sit and eat together. The family fought, laughed and cried at that table but they did it together. Day in Day out. Lunch was a daily organized event that brought the family together. I looked forward to it.
I'm organizing a few regular monthly events. A weekly pre-ordered meal plan. A Sunday educational Dinner. A night market jam and a few workshops. All to bring the community together around food.
The meal plan is a pre-ordered lunch once a week on Thursdays. It will be mostly vegetarian based meals, made with Local ingredients, except for grains and beans. It will consist of a salad, an entrée and a beverage. People can sign up and make their reservation in advance by email or Instagram and come eat or pick up their meal between 1130am and 2pm. It will be a chance to socialize and meet people in the community and come together to support our local farmers and work towards our Food Independence.
The Sunday dinner is a chance to learn our Mission and Vision and Goals; and the who's, what's , where's, why's and how's.
It's also a chance to educate ourselves and teach ourselves how to initiate and support a local food economy. Its an opportunity to create a unified voice to speak on behalf of our community food needs.
I have a coconut workshop planned for Dec 13th. This course will focus on machete sharpening, coconut husking, safety and preparing the meat in several ways. It will include all the necessary tools I use to process coconut. Lunch will be included as well.
I am Determined and Dedicated to create sustaining solutions to solve the food, economic and environmental challenges we presently face as a society. I invite you to join me and begin the transformative journey that takes place from the inside out.
Anyone interested in participating in any of these programs, workshops or events can contact me for more information. If you want to incorporate local food into your diet in a convenient way let's make it happen!
Interview and Photos by Kenna Reed
Some artists work with paint, and some with clay; Azuma Makoto works with plants. His fantastical living sculptures and installations harness the mysterious energy embodied in the botanical, giving credibility to the often dismissed medium of flowers. And yes, last year he sent a bonzai tree and floral sculpture into space for his piece Exobiotanica.
Here at Paiko we are in awe of Makoto, and you will be too.
All photos from http://azumamakoto.com/
Over the last two weeks, I was lucky enough to spend my time in Paris for fashion week. Between fashions shows, trips to the museums, and endless shots of espresso and baguette sandwiches, I was able to do quite a bit of exploring outside the center of the city. Fortunately, the Metro in France is extremely tourist friendly. After a few days, I received a message from a friend who had just been honeymooning throughout Europe. He gave me an address. and said, "It's Paiko Paris!"
I got off the train at Jacques Bonsergent and found myself in an area that at a glance appeared to be your standard Parisian neighborhood. As I walked around some more, I started to notice that a lot of the shops were tiny speciality shops much like the shops you find scattered throughout Kaka'ako (only Frencher!). More importantly, there were no tourists. I finally reached rue Lucien Sampaix, a busy little side street filled with tiny bistros and lined with mopeds. About halfway down the block, I saw it: Atelier GREEN FACTORY.
So basically, if Paiko made its main (and only) focus the DIY terrarium bar and found an adorable whole-in-the-wall spot in the trendiest little neighborhood in Paris, you would have Atelier Green Factory.
The simple, minimalistic layout of the shop makes the small space, feel bright and airy. The walls are covered in strategically placed wood shelving filled with the most beautiful, self sustained terrariums. For the plants that require more light, solar panel covers are also available for purchase to keep your plants happy and healthy.
So next time you hit the streets of Paris (2016 goals anyone?!) be sure to check out this neighborhood and this shop! You won't be mad.
Photos and Story by Kenna Reed
Paiko Beach isn't great for swimming, and in fact, given its semi hidden location few people even know about it. The beach is very special to us at Paiko though as our business was hatched here. Born in an extra office in the home of Tamara Rigney's tutu, we were named after one of the places Tamara loves most. We want to give back to our beach, so this fall we are teaming up with Malama Maunalua to help in their mission of restoring the health of Paiko Beach and of the larger Maunalua Bay.
To support Malama we'll be donating 2.5% of sales made until Nov 25th, and are holding a Nov 14th 'huki', to remove invasive seaweed from the Bay. Join us Saturday Oct 17th from 6p-830 pm for a kickoff celebration with drinks, sales, succulent party gifts, and a chance to sign up for the huki. Did we mention we're giving out Paiko goody bags to those that join us for the fun seaweed pulling?!
How often do we walk down the street, see a tree, notice some weird fruits or bean pods and just keep going? Matisia (Quararibea cordata) or Chupa-chupa, is a great example of a fruit that most people would see and write off as being inedible. It's thick, woody exterior and neutral toned skin make it pretty uninviting and nondescript.
The tree itself is beautiful. Most commonly found in South America, Matisia has been known to grow quite well in the streets of Honolulu. You just have to keep an eye out for them!
Fortunately for me, my fruit-crazed eccentric neighbor and good friend of the shop, Lance Kimura, lives only a few doors down and showed up with this flawless gem. Never having seen or tasted Matisia before, we were ready to slice that bad boy wide open.
The inside of the fruit was a rich orange, reminiscent of a ripe kabocha, stringy texture and all. At first, we scraped the meat from the rhine. This part of the fruit really reminded us of persimmon. We then split the center into individual sections. Surprisingly, this part of the fruit tasted like a combination of a cantaloupe and those two-toned Chupa Chups lollipops (maybe that's where the company derived it's name!). Needless to say, Matisia is amazing!
Interested in trying or even growing Matisia? Frankie's Nursery in Waimanalo is currently selling both the fruits and the trees. Check it out!
41-999 Mahiku Pl, Waimanalo, HI 96795
Wahiawa is one of those places on Oahu that most people find themselves just passing through; a flicker in the long drive to the North Shore. Other than grabbing some banana pie from Sunnyside, Meat Jun from Don Yangs, or Coco Puffs from Kilani Bakery, what else do you do when in Wahiawa?
It just so happens that buried deep in the urban jungle that is Wahiawa, you'll find a real jungle. Off the main drag, and about two miles down California Ave, lies a 27-acre forested ravine known as the Wahiawa Botanical Garden. You're welcome.
The garden, dating back to the 1930s, is one of the five Honolulu Botanical Gardens under the care of the City and County. Wahiawa's high altitude and cooler climate allow a unique variety of tropical flora to thrive, and its winding pathways and large grassy areas make this place both comfortable and an adventure. Be sure to check out their stocked collection of epiphytic plants, and to sign up for a group tour. So fill up your gas tank, pack a picnic and bring some bug spray ;)
Wahiawa Botanical Gardens
1396 California Ave.
Hours: 9am-4pm daily
Find more info on the Honolulu Botanical Gardens website.
Story and photos by: Kenna Reed
Deep in the lush backroads of Manoa Valley, you'll find a mossy cottage where none other than Deanna Rose resides. Her company, Indigo Elixirs, focuses on bringing medicinal and beauty products made with "love and pure, local, healing, botanical ingredients." It's in this tiny cottage, that each product is hand-made.
This week we debut our new collaboration with Indigo Elixirs, 'Tantalus', a light room and body mist inspired by life in the Tantalus jungle above Honolulu (the neighborhood of Paiko founder Tamara Rigney). Locally sourced Hawaiian sandalwood and vetiver are the base of this fresh and intoxicating scent, available exclusively at Paiko.
Can you describe how you and Tamara came up with the Tantalus scent?
The idea for the spray was inspired by Tamara's lush jungle oasis of a home on the ridge. When we began brainstorming ideas for an elixir, she said that she wanted to create something that truly captured the essence of Tantalus - the eucalyptus trees with overtones of fresh flora and undertones of smoke lingering from a neighbor's house. We spent a day wandering around up there, first throughout the land surrounding her house and then along Round Top Drive. We got into the car of a friend who happened to be driving by, taking in the air and stopping to crush and inhale fallen eucalyptus leaves and other roadside flowers. After becoming significantly inspired, we headed back to her house and mixed up the scent, drop by drop of essential oil into a base of the vetiver essential hydrosol.
How did you get into herbal medicine?
In the beginning, I just wanted to create something that could cure my frizzy Armenian hair and dry Northeastern skin. Inspired to use ingredients that were already growing in our family's garden or stocked in our kitchen, I began concocting recipes just for myself, and then for family and friends. By the time I was a senior in college, I had developed a small line of products under the name Indigo Elixirs. I started selling at local farmers' markets, and customers were quick to ask for more healing items that could relieve topical ailments such as eczema and pain. This led me to sign up for my first herbal apprenticeship at a farm called Misty Meadows in New Hampshire, where I learned the fundamentals of making medicine. I immediately fell in love with the art, and have been studying herbalism ever since.
Why did you come to Hawaii?
I grew up in Massachusetts, and moved out to the West Coast to live on an old steamship when I was in my early twenties. After a year of living in the quiet, retired hippie houseboat community outside of San Francisco, I felt compelled to continue my herbal studies in a more tropical environment. I started searching for Ethnobotany graduate programs, and UH Manoa is what comes up first on the google search. I had made a few friends from O'ahu in the Bay, and while I had never been to Hawaii, I felt compelled to try it out. Not long after I moved here and was enrolled as a full-time student, I realized that the program was just not what I was looking for - but I kept getting signs telling me to stay, and quickly fell in love with the island. Eventually, I found a grad program that perfectly suited my interests, and I am currently getting my Masters in Acupuncture & Herbology from the World Medicine Institute in 'Aina Haina.
What are some things you have access to in Hawaii that you don’t find anywhere else?
Hawaii has a super unique set of flora - after moving here, my line went through a complete metamorphosis so that I could truly reflect what the islands have to offer. A few of my favorite materials include vetiver grass, which my friend Jason of Vetiver Farms Hawaii grows & distills on Big Island, to yield a beautiful green essential oil and bluish hydrosol that we used as a base for our Tantalus elixir. I also get a wonderful sandalwood essential oil from my friend Tyson of Malama distillations, which I also added to the blend. I love the Hawaiian cacao that I get from the folks at Madre Chocolate - I infuse their shells leftover from chocolate making into my Mocha Rose Stain, Chocolate Balm & Hot Mint Chocolate Bar. Achiote is another local favorite, whose colorful oily seeds give my Citrus Blossom Stain its vibrant orangey hue. And I of course am head over heels for all of the fragrant local flowers, particularly the champaka, pikake, plumeria & puakinikini, all of which I regularly rub on my wrists as a 'fresh' perfume.
What are some of the powers of fragrance? ( i.e. healing, emotional, recalling a time, person, place)
Fragrance is intensely powerful - processed through a separate part of the brain than the rest of our senses, it is deeply connected to both our instincts and emotions. A nostalgic scent can take us back in time... to our grandmother's living room, the summer after high school, a foreign city that we visited long ago. Sometimes we get a hint of something that we can't even quite trace, but it overwhelms us with a familiar feeling. The abilities of the aromatic transfers to medicine, as well: certain properties of herbs need only be inhaled to affect the body. Because essential oils are concentrated, this ability is greatly enhanced, and their scent alone can be used for healing. This is the reason I love to make custom perfumes; it allows me to create a blend that perfectly suits the wearer's aromatic palate. Making the Tantalus scent was a new kind of challenge in this realm, and I had a lot of fun experiencing and taking in that place with the intention of capturing it within a formulation. Now, whenever I immerse myself in the spray, I feel like I've traveled out of the valley and up to the top of the ridge.
Where’s your favorite place in Hawaii to recharge and get inspired?
My current home in the back of Manoa is a pretty magical space. I have an entire wall of windows that looks onto a little forest of beautiful ferns and wild gingers, and the Manoa stream runs about ten feet from my cottage - when we get a fair amount of rain, the sound of the water rushing by is so rejuvenating. Aside from the elements & animals, it's so quiet back here, and a wonderful space to create. Outside of my house, I love to recharge with a day of sunning & swimming, usually at Makapu'u beach. If I'm seeking inspiration, anywhere lush will do the trick - arboretums, botanical gardens, trails in the back of the valley....
Photos by Kenna Reed
After this month's insane heat wave, we were more than ready for Summer to be over. Naturally, our summer displays had to go and we were on the prowl for some Fall inspo. After some late night pinning and flips through our favorite reads, we set eyes on the mothership of all inspiration. Let's just say, the only Coco's we're obsessed with aren't just coconuts. This season our display inspiration came from Chanel's 2015 Haute Couture Spring Fashion Show. After watching the show about a dozen times, we "chanel-ed" our inner Coco and got to work.
We tried to incorporate as much of a Hawaii vibe as possible, tracing monsterra leaves from our yards and pulling colors that resembled the island's tropical flora.
For the full experience, stop by Paiko, grab a latte and enjoy!
Photos and Story by Kenna Reed (unless specified otherwise)
Recently, we’ve been very into little orchids: dendrobium orchids, lady-slipper orchids, and our personal favorite: twinkle orchids.
Before they bloom, Oncidium, “twinkle,” orchids appear to be a pretty basic orchid, exposed roots, thick dark green rounded leaves and “twig-like” sprays. However, when their tiny buds open, they put out a constellation of delicate miniature orchid flowers with a sweetness reminiscent of vanilla.
Our twinkle orchids at Paiko are most often white and yellow, but they also come in various shades of red. Larger growths can produce up to a hundred miniature blooms usually in the winter and once in the summer.
Taking home your very own Twinkle Orchid? Here are a few tips on how to ensure it lives the best possible life. Since the plant is miniature it’s able to live its entire life in one container, and don't be alarmed if you see roots peek out- these plants actually enjoy being root-bound and exposed roots are just searching for a little air. Ideally use a special orchid mix, which usually contains a mixture of bark and peat moss.
Twinkles do well indoors. Avoid direct sunlight and find a nice naturally lit area of your house. This also helps to maintain an appropriate temperature, and note that twinkle orchids are not fans of quick temperature change. Water your orchid just before the soil completely dries out- about 2 times per week. Gently water the roots and potting mix, allowing any excess water to drain through through. To ensure a long flowering span, fertilize monthly when flowering.
Simple Care Breakdown:
Lighting: Partial to full shade, no direct sunlight.
Watering: Water just before plant starts to dry out, soaking soil, but draining any excess water to avoid root rot.
Fertilizer: Monthly when flowering, every few months otherwise.
Photos (unless otherwise noted) and Story by Kenna Reed
You only have to drive through Waimanalo once to know that it's filled with plant nurseries. With nearly every telephone pole stapled with homemade plant sale flyers and arrows pointing you in all directions, we plant lovers have a hard time resisting this treasure box of green goodies.
Deep in Waimanalo, at the base of the Koolau mountains, you'll find one of our favorite nurseries: Frankie's. The long driveway lined with a mixed bag of fruit trees is an appropriate introduction to what you can expect at this one-of-a-kind local gem. Specializing in tropical and sub-tropical fruit trees, the owners travel bi-annually to various countries seeking new species of fruit that will successfully grow in Hawai'i.
After 30+ years of business, it's no surprise that Frankie and his family have developed an affinity for the most unique, rare fruits available. And as humble as they seem, the people of Frankie's Nursery are more than ready for you to rack their brains and answer any questions you might have about every fruit from Wax Jambu to Rambutan.
That being said, what we're really hear to tell you about has nothing to do with buying fruit trees. Although walking the grounds is an absolute must, our favorite part of Frankie's can be found right at the main house, where you're taken to at check out.
In a small patio area lined with metal tables and bins, you'll be surrounded by fruits harvested from the nursery. Unlike your typical fruit stand selling coconuts and pineapples, Frankie's prides themselves in selling every fruit you've never heard of.
Even the fruit that appears to be more common, like mango, are probably a rare variety that you never knew existed. Of course they are, it's Frankie's!
By Kenna Reed
Photos by Kenna Reed shot on a Contax T3
We took a trekk over to the Big Island last week to visit our favorite protea farm and do some exploring. Although protea are most prolific in the winter, there were many blooms popping their bright heads out, in addition to groves of sweetly scented eucalyptus and wax flower. After a lovely day of lunch and roaming the grounds with our farmers, we headed up to Volcano National Park for some adventuring in the tree ferns.
photos and story by Tamara Rigney
As you may have noticed, at Paiko we have a thing for supporting local artists. Luckily for us, these islands are booming with some of the most intriguing creatives around. This week, we wanted to take the time to introduce you to one of our personal favorites: the one and only, Gaye Chan.
Gaye Chan is the chair of the Department of Art at the University of Hawaii, and is a conceptual artist, recognized equally for her solo and collaborative activities that take place on the web, in publications, streets, as well as in galleries. Her recent work often ruminates on how cartography and photography simultaneously offer and occlude information. At Paiko we stock Gaye's elegantly indestructible upcycled baskets, a part of her 'Eating in Public' project.
What is ‘Eating in Public’ about?
Eating in Public implements systems of exchange outside of the State and capitalist regimes. None of the systems are owned, managed, monitored, surveilled. They are free, anarchist, autonomous, and they only keep going if those who use them keep them going. We have set them up in private and public space, and we generally do not ask for permission - because we don't believe that anyone has the authority to grant or deny us permission. We do it to make trouble and fun of the state and capitalism. And we want to demonstrate, not to them, but ourselves, that it is possible to take care of each other while we take care of ourselves.
How did you get the idea for the baskets?
In August 2012 I'd wanted to get a case of tomatoes to make sauce so I went to visit Annie Moss who owns an organic foods distribution company. While there I noticed heaps of baling straps. These single-use straps are found around nearly every box shipped across the globe. Binding box to box, paper to paper, and everything to pallets. The waste factor irked me to no end. I gave myself the task of figuring out how to reuse or upcycle them. After countless youtube videos and cut up fingers I managed to make a basket using a basic weaving technique common around the world.
I have since made nearly 200 baskets. For gifts and for barter. I have taught workshops and made downloadable instruction. I have made them as a part of creative performance works, and as an ongoing fundraising project to support EATING IN PUBLIC’s meager needs – paint, glue, staples, garden hoses, etc.
How do you like to use your baskets?
I use my baskets for everything – my general carryall, briefcase, shopping for groceries, harvesting and rising vegetables, transporting things to FREE STORE, literally everything. They are indestructible.
Can you tell us more about your latest project, GalleryHNL?
GalleryHNL is a creative partnership between Mark & Carolyn Blackburn and the Department of Art & Art History at the University of Hawai‘i at Manoa, which I chair. Entrepreneur Sanford Hasegawa also serves as an advisor. Through an innovative array of formats, GalleryHNL represents selected artists affiliated with my department with the full force of Blackburn and Hasegawa’s broad connections and experiences. A portion of the sales and commissions is returned to the department to support its many activities and programs.
We started GalleryHNL because we are frustrated with the lack of commercial viability for artists in Hawai‘i. We want to change the cultural landscape so that remaining in Hawai‘i, remaining an artist in Hawai‘i, is an option.
Having only been in existence since March 2015, GalleryHNL has organized two exhibitions and two presentations. We are planning three more in 2015 in Sante Fe, New York City and Honolulu. We have already successfully brokered a respectable number of sales and commissions in the private and public sectors. We are particularly proud of shepherding two acquisitions from Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA). The acquired works, by my colleagues Mary Babcock and Phil Jung, will be prominently displayed at LACMA’s Pacific gallery in October. GalleryHNL has also successfully garnered several scholarships for graduate students, allowing the department to be more competitive with other institutions.
After 200 you still like making them?
I am not sure if like is the right word. It is important for me to figure out the most logical, creative, sustainable... flow of material. I am obsessed with composting. I am obsessed with not letting any garden waste go into the garbage. Keeping these straps out of the waste stream is one more such obsession.
The one thing that I do like, as an artist, is figuring out how to utilize the limited color range and quantity of my stash of straps in formally interesting ways. The limitations pushes my envelop. That I like, in general.
Download the basket weaving instructional here: http://nomoola.com/baskets/
Find Gaye's baskets for sale at Paiko // $49 ea
Photos and Interview by Kenna Reed (35 mm Contax T3)
Sometimes we get out of town and do things like this. Socked in by mist on the tippy-top of the Ko'olau mountain range, it did feel a little like a heaven. A heaven of wind whipped native grasses and ferns, punctuated by ohia trees wearing billowing coats of moss. Hawaii, we love you.
Thanks to Roberta Oaks for the photos. This hike marked her 12th anniversary in Hawaii :)
If you’ve been into the shop lately, you’ve probably noticed that Paiko has been overflowing with plants. We wanted to take the time to introduce you to one of our sexiest and easiest plants to take care of: Anthurium brownii.
These anthuriums prefer wet, tropical environments, so it's to no surprise that they can be found from Costa Rica to Columbia. It also shouldn't be a surprise then, that Hawai'i makes an ideal habitat for them. Anthurium brownii can be identified by its striking, ruffled, yellow veined leaves, and long spindly flowers. These aren't the type of anthurium flowers you spot at the farmers market.
This active guy flowers and fruits year round. The blooms are composed of a long protruding spadix covered in spirals of minuscule "flowers," and spathe, a leaf-like bract that hangs down beneath the spadix. When the bloom is fresh, you may also notice tiny (roughly 5 mm wide) "fruit" varying in color.
Thinking of adopting your own little "brownii" ? You're in luck. They're extremely easy to take care of and can handle even the brownest of thumbs (within reason). For lighting: Anthuriums want bright, indirect light, but can do well in partial to full shade. More indirect light = more vibrant and frequent blooms. Direct sun is too harsh and will burn leaves. For watering: Water regularly, generally whenever soil is dry to the touch (not dry to the point where soil is shrinking/cracking). Anthuriums are susceptible to root rot, so be sure to not over water. For fertilizing: Anthuriums don't require a whole lot of it. But... If you want the most out of your plant, fertilize every four months with a one-quarter strength fertilizer.
Simple Care Breakdown:
Lighting: Partial to full shade; no direct sunlight.
Watering: Water regularly; do not overwater. Prefers consistently moist (not drenched) soil, do not let dry out completely between waterings.
Fertilizer: Every four months, if feeling ambitious.
Photos and story by Kenna Reed
It’s hard to miss the three hundred meter long hedge of cacti surrounding the grounds of Honolulu's Punahou School. By day, the cacti are relatively non-descript: green and gangly, sitting on their lava rock perch. But these aren’t just any cacti, these are Night-Blooming Cereus, Hylocereus undatus. What most of us didn’t know, is that when the sun sets, these plants come to life.
Between the months of June and October, these summer loving superstars begin to open in the late afternoon, taking many hours to reach full bloom. Not much of a night owl? The Cereus can also be seen early in the morning till about 6 o’ clock.
If you’ve ever seen the Night Blooming Cereus, or “Queen of the Night,” in other parts of the island, chances are they’re related to those growing around the Punahou grounds.
In the late 1800s, on the ship Ivanhoe, first mate, Charles Brewer picked up a few clippings of the plant in Mexico while on his way over to Honolulu. Only a single clipping survived the journey, which was later planted and given to a woman affiliated with the school. Eventually the entire hedge was planted, becoming one of the most impressive night-blooming cacti hedges in the country.
Unfortunately, these gorgeous gems are only for looking. Taking clippings or flowers from the hedge is strictly prohibited and is an offense that is taken very Cereus-ly (tee hee).
Fun Fact: Hylocereus undatus plants are the source of the treasured dragon fruit or 'pitaya', but the variety found at Punahou is ornamental and sadly produces no fruit. Look for the fruit producing variety of Hylocereus undatus in many Honolulu back-yards and gardens.
Photos & story by: Kenna Reed
The GTO's ( the 1960's band of Frank Zappa groupies), were the psychedelic muse behind Barrio Vintage's Psycho-Tropic fashion show at The Manifest last week. Paiko, with the help of talented friends A.Wattz and Kevin Nagler, went deep into the jungle to channel the 60's Sunset Strip vibes into wild botanical ornaments, which were draped over ensembles of head to toe color and print by Barrio. Here's a glimpse of the magic of that night.
With the launch of Paiko’s new short: Paiko Presents: How to make a Floral Crown, we wanted to shed some light on the brilliant creative mind behind the film. Meet Vincent Ricafort, a Kaka’ako superstar who has practically been working with Paiko from day one. His films are an art, with a range that spans from playful shorts, to music videos, to coverage of humanities and the arts. We were especially enchanted by his piece, The Talk of the Sea, on Papa Mau Piailug, a master navigator from Micronesia, which left us looking at the ocean, the stars, and the Kaka'ako mural of Pialug in an entirely new light.
Paiko is honored that Vince chose to work with us on our film, and are excited to present it to the world.
What is your background?
I originally studied fine arts. I graduated in 2005 with an interdisciplinary studio arts degree from SAIC, or the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. I mostly focused on drawing and painting and 2D work. In 2010, I bought my first DSLR. Filmmaking became more affordable and accessible and I stopped working in the service industry out here in Hawaii, which is pretty typical for artists in any city. I began pursuing a career in the arts. Film just happened to be the medium that I became most interested in. More recently, I’ve been pursuing this career as an aspiring director and filmmaker. I also work as an educator.
I first met Tamara in 2012, when she began exploring this concept of Paiko and trying to create the business. I’ve been hanging out here for a while. We’re neighbors here in the Kaka’ako community. I guess we’re a couple of Kaka'ako creatives. She’s been developing this concept of a retail shop for the last several years while pursuing her own interests at the same time, and I really like the brand and the appeal. I shot her original catalog for Paiko, which was a lot of fun and I’ve been kind of involved in interpreting the brand from the beginning and I’ve watched it grow. So I guess the next logical step was for us to do a commercial because it’s something that I wanted to do, something beyond the photography.
What was your inspiration for the film?
The inspiration for this film, Paiko Presents: How to make a Floral Crown, was the idea of this as a short film. I called it Paiko Presents because I wanted Paiko to be able to curate things and to present things over and over again. The inspiration came from the timeless beauty of flowers and the experience of nature and design and this idea that nature is design that we can interpret and influence, so I just took all of my favorite things about Paiko’s brand and turned it into a commercial that had a broader appeal, something that I’m hoping will reach international audiences.
There are some influences in this commercial including Wes Anderson, obvious influences from the montage to the pacing. I just wanted something that gave people a sense of an experience with the brand. And there were some other ideas that were born out of this, including the hashtag, #paikomoments, which are these other short films that last about 15 seconds: little vignettes that loop over and over again; kind of like nature: its just one thing after another.
Can you elaborate on your hopes/expectations for the film?
Like I said, I hope it reaches a broader international audience. Really I hope people come into the shop and take something away so that they can experience Hawai'i. I think this is a really nice jumping point. It’s like when you travel to other cities, you know what do you do? There are the typical things like “let’s go have a Mai Tai at the beach and listen to Hawaiian music”. The flowers and things that you can buy here or the floral crowns and the workshops that you can take here are so much more of an experience. They lead to a greater experience. It’s really cool; you can get pretty involved with your travel destination experience to Hawai'i through things like the floral crown workshop. Hopefully it reaches the audience so people can know about it. I just want people to know about the brand and the lifestyle.
By Kenna Reed
Photos by Eunji Paula Kim